I have a confession to make. I am so WEARY
of filleting George W. Fi(bu)sh and his bunch of glorified camel
thieves. Let's make sure that we all get together and hurry the
poor man on his way come election time so that we can focus on
the more important things, like messages from the real leaders
in our midst. Like Swami Beyondananda:
I understand that you are boycotting the Prophet's Conference
that is taking place right now. Can you explain?
Certainly. I am refusing to go because I have not been invited.
But even more important, I am not going because I am strictly
non-prophet. I would never want to make predictions for money
and be accused of propheteering.
Swami, what about all of the upheaval that has been predicted
for this passage into the new millennium -- not to mention those
Upheaval isn't such a bad thing. At least it's moving things
up. Now downheaval, that is a different story. I tell
you, compared to downheaval, upheaval is definitely the lesser
of two heavals.
there any tools or practices you would recommend to help people
make it through all the changes that are predicted?
Well first, I would say recognize that change is a natural condition
in life, so if you take the initiative to bring about change in
small increments, you're less likely to have it come in large
Personal note from the Swami: If you or anyone you know has felt more stress and
worry over the past few months, you're not alone. Humorologists
report a sharp increase in jestive disorders, from mild irregularhilarity
to full-blown humorrhoids.
(thanks to Stephen Ross)
Favourite Reader Comment of the Week
In Response to: 'Looking For Mr GoodManager' (Jan.
Hope you're well I've taken your advice, not waited for
some rug-rat manager and organised my own tour of the entire world
a future, an adventure and empowerment and no middle man!
Thanks for your honest advice I can only say that it turned
my life around. Hope to see you mid-May when I come back.
(Note: here's Rupert'sWebsite
and performance calender.)
Favourite Porn Spam Subject Heading of the
Subject: "I've been using your product for 4 months
now. I've increased my length from 2" to 2 1/2 "
(Note: To paraphrase May West, 'Is that
an ERASER in your pocket or are you glad to see me?')
Tutu tells Blair: Apologise for 'immoral'
By Nigel Morris, Home Affairs Correspondent
Archbishop Desmond Tutu will challenge Tony
Blair and George Bush today to apologise for their pursuit of
a counter-productive and "immoral" war in Iraq.
In a scathing analysis of the background to
the invasion, he will ridicule the "dangerously flawed"
intelligence that Britain and the US used to justify a military
action which has made the world a "great deal less safe".
The intervention of the Nobel peace prize winner
in the controversy over Iraq follows a series of deadly terrorist
attacks in the country over the past week, including an armed
raid on a police station on Saturday in which 22 people died.
BETRAYAL IN THE RANKS
Thousands of women have been sexually assaulted
in the United States military. Thousands more have been abused
by their military husbands or boyfriends. And then they are victimized
This time, the women are betrayed by the military
They are discouraged from reporting the crimes.
Pressured to go easy on their attackers. Denied protection. Frustrated
by a justice system that readily shields offenders from criminal
Wake-Up Call For the Media
Eric Alterman and Michael Tomasky
Yes, Bush has bullied the national media. But
are they really powerless? Only if they play along. Herewith,
five suggestions for how the Fourth Estate can stop the charade.
It is in this hope and spirit that we offer
the following suggestions for reporters and editors:
1. Go beyond the "he said, she said"
and tell us what you believe to be true and important about a
story. The chief convention of most news reporting -- this
side says this, that side says that -- needs a drastic rethink.
In the Age of Spin, an Age brought to new lows by this White House,
a formula that requires giving equal weight to both sides ends
up helping the side that's lying. So when Bush says, as he often
did during the last campaign, "[B]y far, the vast majority
of my tax cuts go to those at the bottom end of the spectrum,"
this obvious and factually checkable lie got the same play in
most stories as the truth did. The he said, she said convention
actually blurred the truth. (full
article - and
the other four suggestions.)
The Strange Death of the Woman Who Filed
a Rape Lawsuit Against Bush
" Early one Saturday afternoon in July
2003, I made a simple phone call to Margie Schoedinger, a Texas
woman who filed a rape lawsuit against George W. Bush in December
2002. I expected to leave a message on a machine, so I was caught
a little offguard when Schoedinger answered.
She, too, sounded somewhat surprised I had
called, saying she hadn't heard from many other reporters. But
she talked to me for a few minutes about the legal action.
"I am still trying to prosecute [the lawsuit],"
said Schoedinger, a 38-year-old African-American woman who lived
in the Houston suburb of Missouri City. "I want to get this
matter settled and go on with my life."
Well, Schoedinger hasn't gone on with her life.
In fact, three months after I spoke to her, she died in an apparent
suicide. And this matter remains unsettled. (article)
(thanks to stefan abeysekera.)
America, of course, is a Confused Puritan
By Emily Reinhardt
"Timberlake, Spears and that Christina
woman are the most sexual Mousketeers to come out of Minnie's
who-ha. Walt is turning over in his cryogenic chamber. "
Last Sunday, between commercials selling erection-enhancing medication,
beer, horse farts and other glories of capitalism, a tit was shown.
Between Vaseline-smeared, sparkling cheerleaders, orgies of celebrity
and a game brutally violent, sadomasochistic and testosterone-laden,
a bare black breast managed to sneak out from a bustier. And it
is the scandal of January.
"Indecent!" The moral tongues wag.
"Shocking!" Grandmothers across America cry. "Classless,
crass and deplorable!" The head of the FCC, Michael Powell,
declares. The perps, Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, CBS, Viacom,
MTV and the NFL, all stand to be fined millions of dollars for
a nipple. And no doubt America's children will be scarred for,
oh, about five minutes over this.
Powell has said there will be an investigation. Nobody is investigating
Cheney's energy meetings. We can't get a hearing on whether Bush
lied to us about the war. There's going to be an investigation
on WMDs and intelligence, but it sounds lukewarm at best. Global
warming, corporate shanghais, illegal detainees, abuses of power
let's just ignore all those. What we really need is an investigation
into Janet Jackson's breast." (Much more and even better
stuff in the (complete
Contrary to popular consumer belief, bottled
water is not necessarily safer or healthier than tap water; nor
is bottled spring water better than water from other sources.
Bottled water may also pose a threat from toxic chemicals that
have leached into the water from the plastic. Individuals can
avoid plastics leaching by nursing rather than bottle feeding
infants, by using and reusing containers made of glass, metal,
or lead-free ceramics, or by taking water from the tap. When it's
necessary to use plastics, it's important to remember that plastics
are not all created equal. Fortunately, consumers can view numeric
codes on plastic products. Plastics coded as #7 polycarbonate,
#3 polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and #6 polystyrene should be avoided.
Better are #1 PETE/PET or #2 HDPE, the plastic found in most 1,
1.5, 2 liter and smaller beverage bottles. Still, an Italian study
found that some chemicals were leached after 9 months of storage
in a PETE bottle. Plastics shown not to leach any carcinogens
or endocrine disruptors are #2 HDPE, #4 LDPE, and #5 polypropylene.
MAC 1 - WINDOWS NIL
Microsoft Faces Losing Windows Trademark
A US district court judge put Microsoft's trademark-infringement
case against Lindows.com on indefinite hold this week, pending
an appeals court ruling that could strip the software giant of
its Windows trademarks.
The judge's decision is bad news for Microsoft,
which sued Lindows.com last year because the name Lindows is too
similar to Windows. The lawsuit backfired when Lindows.com challenged
the Windows trademark, noting that the word windows is a generic
term and thus can't be legally protected with a mark.
This week's ruling means that an appeals court
will decide whether windows is indeed a generic term; if so, Microsoft
could lose its trademark. At the very least, a jury will be able
to use that determination to decide the future trial case between
Microsoft and Lindows.com
But before the anyone-but-Microsoft crowd gets
too excited, it's important to note that the appeals court will
be working under a strict set of rules. According to US District
Judge John Coughenour, the court can consider only whether the
term windows was a generic computing term before November 1985,
when Microsoft released the original version of Windows. And Microsoft
can appeal the ruling, of course.
However, the term windows was indeed a generic
computing term before November 1985, thanks largely to the introduction
of graphical computing systems such as Apple Computer's Macintosh,
which the company released in early 1984.
Describing the then-new graphical paradigm,
the premiere issue of "Macworld" published in early
1984, noted, "When you want to look at the information that
one of the icons represents [on screen], you open a window ...
Choose the Open command from the File menu and the screen almost
fills up with a rectangular 'window' containing icons that represent
the documents and programs on the disk."
And the Mac isn't the only example of a pre-Windows
computer windowing system; other examples include VisiCorp's VisiOn
shell, which was released in late 1982, and IBM's TopView shell,
which was released in February 1985.
Microsoft argues that the term windows should
be judged by its acceptance today, not by the standards of the
computing market of 20 years ago. But the company says it's pleased
that this matter will finally be decided.
"We are very encouraged that the judge
has granted our request to ask the court of appeals to provide
guidance and clarity on this important issue of law before going
to trial," a Microsoft spokesperson said. Lindows.com described
the ruling as a "major victory."
(thanks to Ben Kettlewell)
THE SHAGGS (continued
. . .)
It is, believe you me, the greatest album you
have NEVER heard.
I got my copy of The Shaggs, 'Philosophy
of the World,' from the States yesterday and it is everything
that I hoped for. You might recall I mentioned last week that
I had a strong connection with this group from the very first
piece I heard, and that's why I ordered the CD? Well, I've done
some more homework since last issue and it appears that there
has been a bidding war between Tom Cruise's film company, Cruise/Wagner,
and Artisan Films for the rights to make a movie about The
Shaggs life and music - with Artisian getting the nod. (They
must be all cashed up after the stupendous profit-to-investment
ration of 'The Blair Witch Project' (approx $50, 000 to
make and grossing hundreds of millions of dollars!) Filming of
The Shaggs movie is scheduled to start in March 2004. I'll
keep you posted. Even though their music was made in the late
'60s, they are the forward guard of a type of genre known in the
States as 'Outsider' Music. (Music made by people who are pretty
much laughed at in their own time.) It falls outside the category
of Good or Bad - it just IS - and it works!! - who knows why?
One critic compared their music to early Ornette Coleman, because
' their music has it's own structure, its own inner logic,' -
even though I don't think they even know how to tune their guitars.
I would agree with this statement and also say that if anyone
ever wanted to make music but felt they couldn't, they should
think again and listen and learn from The Shaggs. I assure
you I am already changing the way I think. About melody. And upon
closer listening, my original impressions were correct: Shagg
tunes, on an unconscious level, owe more to the Gregorian chant
than the pop song.
" On Halloween, The Shaggs played
at a local nursing home-featuring Dot's song, "It's Halloween,"
in their set - and got a polite response from the residents. Soon
afterward, their father, Austin, arranged for them to play at
the Fremont town hall on Saturday nights. The girls worried about
embarrassing themselves, but at the same time they liked the fact
that the shows allowed them to escape the house and their bounded
world, even if it was just for a night. At that point, the girls
had never even been to Boston, which was only fifty miles away.
" The whole family took part in the town-hall
shows. Austin III, the older of the two sons, played the maracas;
the other son, Robert, played the tambourine and did a drum solo
during intermission; Annie sold tickets and ran the refreshment
stand. A Pepsi truck would drop off cases of soda at their green
ranch house, on Beede Road, every Friday night. Even though, according
to one town-hall regular, most people found The Shaggs'
music "painful and torturous," sometimes as many as
a hundred kids showed up at the dances - practically the whole
adolescent population of Fremont. Then again, there really wasn't
much else to do in Fremont on a Saturday night. The audience danced
and chatted, heckled the band, pelted the girls with junk, ignored
them, grudgingly appreciated them, mocked them. "
You can sign up to be part of their fanclub
and Dot, the songwriter, now in her '50s, and the other girls,
and their mother, will even send you autographed Christmas cards!
Get in there early before the mass market makes cannon fodder
out of them.
Links to All
Perhaps the following article helps explain
the attraction to the simple honesty of artists like The Shaggs.
The Lawless and Ever Expanding World of
by Joy Press, The Village Voice
" We've grown accustomed to violation
as prime-time entertainment. Violation of privacy-not only do
we contend with security cameras in public spaces, the invasive
threat of the USA Patriot Act, and cell phone users covertly snapping
photos of people, but we also have hidden TV camera crews prowling
through once anonymous city streets, looking to catch us at our
most vulnerable. And violation of trust-more and more reality
shows weave blatant deception into their basic premise, throwing
unwitting victims into situations that range from the surreal
and embarrassing to the downright traumatic.
Reality TV is entering a chilling new phase.
The old format of shows based on voluntary participation isn't
producing the kind of spontaneous, voyeuristic thrills it once
did. All traces of naturalism are gone; nowadays people play up
to the camera, so that producers have to go further and further
in pursuit of the "real."(article)
(Thanks to Maireid Sullivan.)
R.I.P. MICHAEL EASTON (1954-2004)
"Melbourne composer, music critic and
director of the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, Michael Easton,
49, died in London last week as the result of a brain haemorrhage."
I was particularly startled by this announcement.
Even though I never met him, I still had a fond regard for him;
albeit, in a perverse way, as he wrote an unforgettable 'bad'
review of one of my major compositions.
In 1995, Easton attended a performance of what
I consider one of my few musical masterworks to date, 'When
The Lips and the Skin Remember,' a song-cycle of 15 of the
poems of Greek poet, Contantine P. Cavafy, in English translation,
that I have been in progress of setting to music since 1969, and
am still working toward a recording of, almost 35 years later.
It is safe to say that Cavafy has been my lyrical guiding light
since I was a very young man.
I originally set the first of the Cavafy poems,
'Return,' when I was 22 years old, and my very first music
teacher, so to speak, Dr Lou Gottleib, PhD Music, member of the
legendary Limelighters Folk Trio, and bass singer for the
Sonoma Bach Choir, helped me write the music down on score
paper (as I didn't know how to read or write music back then.)
Dr. Lou told me that what I had done with the Cavafy poem was
important, that I should learn about the Lydian mode that I had
unconsciously used in the melody, and that my destiny was as a
composer. (I was living on a free love commune at the time and
singing country and western music!)
Michael Easton wrote this short review of my
Cavafy work, in November 1995, in The Melbourne Age:
' 'I hated Joe Dolce's 'When The Lips and
the Skin Remember'. This was grandly proclaimed as a song
cycle to poems of C.P. Cavafy. None of the poems' sensuousness
were evident; indeed much of the music could well have accompanied
a description of a retired matron changing a nappy.'
Now I've never had a retired matron change
my nappy so I couldn't exactly relate to the metaphor but I always
laugh (and cringe at the same time) when I read this review and
have kept it in my scrapbook as a reminder of what I call a 'reality
cheque.' As long as the good reviews balance the bad ones, I feel
like I'm doing OK. Too many one way, or the other, and I start
I had always hoped to change Easton's opinion
of this beautiful song and poetry work with time, but it was not
meant to be.
It's probably futile anyway to waste emotional
energy hoping that the ones who don't think very much of you will
change their minds. I often recall Albert Einstein's famous advice
that we can never change the opinions of 90% of the critics who
object the most strongly to our ideas, no matter how much anyone
else understands them. All the controversial thinkers such as
Galileo, Newton, Freud, Jung, Bach and even Einstein himself had
incredible resistance to their vision from well-respected critics.
Einstein believed that it was only when the old guard of critics
passed away, that a new generation of younger more open-minded
apprentices would come along who could then embrace, unfettered,
these progressive ideas and build upon them.
So I will miss Michael Easton. I always looked
for him at classical music concerts, hoping to get a glance and
perhaps meet this fellow composer who was so put-off by one of
my favourite compositions. I had even half-hoped of one day being
invited to perform 'When The Lips and the Skin Remember,' at his
Port Fairy Spring Music Festival. Who knows? Maybe I will still
get the chance, only now in the form of a left-handed kind of
tribute. Or perhaps the next young person I meet who comes up
and tells me how much they like my Cavafy settings will actually
BE Michael Easton, reincarnated. On the other hand, perhaps it
will be that retired matron, nappy in hand.
(Note: Easton was working on a new commission,
'Everyone Sang,' based on the WWI poetry of English officer,
Siegfried Sassoon, which was scheduled to premiere in this year's
Melbourne Festival, by the Melbourne Chorale. I have included
the title poem at the bottom of the newsletter.)
JOIN THE TWO PERCENT
This is solvable. It is a fantastic puzzle
and you won't be able to put it down once you start it.
1. There are 5 houses in 5 different colours.
In each house lives a person with a different nationality.
2. The 5 owners drink a certain type of beverage,
smoke a certain brand of cigar, and keep a certain pet.
3. No owners have the same pet, smoke the same
brand of cigar or drink the same beverage.
The question is:
'Who owns the fish?'
The Brit lives in the red house.
The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
The Dane drinks tea.
The green house is on the left of the white
The green house's owner drinks coffee.
The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
The man living in the center house drinks milk.
The Norwegian lives in the first house.
The man who smokes Blends lives next to the
one who keeps cats.
The man who keeps the horse lives next to the
man who smokes Dunhill.
The owner who smokes Bluemasters drinks beer.
The German smokes Prince.
The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
The man who smokes Blends has a neighbor who
(Einstein wrote this riddle last century. He
said 98% of the world could not solve it. It can be done! And
feels so good when you crack it. No one can give you the answer
either because the answer is in the process. You will know when
it's correct when you can answer all the above criteria correctly.)
You will have to print this out and use paper
to work it out. (Unless you're a chess
master, in which case, you could probably build a variation memory
tree and solve it that way. Thanks to Janine.)
Duck Eggs with
Caviar and Smoked Salmon Fingers
2 duck eggs
20g butter, plus extra for spreading
1 tablespoon single cream or milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 slices good brown bread
50g smoked salmon, thinly sliced
Beluga caviar or Danish black lumpfish roe
Break the eggs very carefully, cutting off the top as if you were
eating a boiled egg. Empty the raw eggs into a heavy based saucepan
with 20g butter, cream and pepper. Cook the egg mixture over a
very low heat stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until
creamy. Wash out the shells and place in your favourite egg cups
discarding the tops.
Spread the bread slices with the extra butter
and place the smoked salmon on the top. Sprinkle with lemon juice
and season with pepper. Remove the crusts and cut each slice into
four strips or fingers.
Fill the egg shells with the scrambled eggs
and sprinkle the caviar and pepper on top. Arrange the fingers
around the egg cup on the plate. Serves 2.
" Don't forget to make a hole in the bottom
of the egg shell after eating the contents, otherwise the shells
will be used by the witches as boats." old
this with tall chilled glasses of Lancefield Winery's, Chardonnay
Brut, a 'Blanc de Blancs' Macedon - a sparkling wine made
100% from Macedon Ranges Chardonnay, and enhanced by two years
maturation on yeast lees, the key to giving great sparkling wines
that special nutty, yeasty character. Lancefield